Despite the small sample size the 2013-2014 Pilots look to be a much improved basketball team over last years version. Portland handled the UC-Davis Aggies 100-83 Friday night at the Chiles Center. Portland held Corey Hawkins in check, and forced UC-Davis to play from behind most of the game. Portland was the like the older brother holding off the younger brother by the forehead as the younger brother frantically swings but never gets close enough to threaten. The Pilots looked solid in all aspects of the game.
Player(s) of the Game:
While the newcomers played well, it was really Ryan Nicholas and Kevin Bailey that set the tone for the Pilots. Nicholas (27) and Bailey (29) combined to score 56 of the Pilots 100 points. Usually there will only be 1 player of the game but both looked fantastic tonight.
With 7:18 left in the first half, Portland trailed 25-26 following a UC-Davis layup. Over the next 7 minutes the Pilots outscored the Aggies 27-13. The second half was more of the same and they saw the lead balloon to 23 with just under 10 minutes to play. Portland then cruised to an easy victory.
Stat of the Night:
The Pilots topped their highest scoring total from all of last season which was 95 and came against Portland Bible College.
Portland continuously pushed the ball out in transition and the offense, which looked stagnant last season, had a nice flow to it. Portland committed only 8 turnovers, 3 in the second half and they were never really threatened in the second half.
The biggest take away from the game was how solid the performance was from every aspect of the game. Portland took care of the ball, shot the ball well, pushed the ball out in transition, and played sound, fundamental basketball overall.
If this is the brand of basketball Portland will play the rest of the season it should be a fun one.
The Pilots first travel to Corvallis to take on the First-Brother-In-Law and the Beavers of Oregon State and follow that game up with a brutal match up against the #2 ranked Michigan State Spartans in East Lansing.
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